Project: Research project

Project Details


the long-term goal of this research proposal is to explore and explicate the emerging social and bioethical implications of cellular agriculture (i.e. 'lab grown meat'), a nascent industry that portends to disrupt traditional livestock production by bioengineering animal products through cell cultures. while cellular agriculture has tremendous potential to address many of the biosecurity, environmental, and ethical concerns that have arisen with respect to conventional animal agriculture, there has been no comprehensive research on how this technology might be developed, deployed and disemminated in a just and equitable manner. literature in the political economy of agriculture anticipates that much of the public suspicion towards emerging food and agricultural technologies comes down to the simple issue of political and economic power, i.e., who stands to benefit the most from these new technologies, and who has the most resources to advance their interests. science communication research further shows that if people have little control over the final outcome, and if skepticism about the underlying profit motives of scientific actors undermines their credibility, fears about the potential negative impacts of this technology will magnify. without public trust in the science, there are also likely to be strong doubts as to the integrity of the decision-making process through which these technologies are approved. accordingly, our project focuses on the following objectives: phase i of the project will involve assessing and anticipating the potential impacts of cellular agriculture technologies writ large (social, cultural, economic, agricultural, health, welfare, equity, ethical, environmental, and consumer preference issues); phase ii of the project will apply this foundational knowledge about cellular agriculture to better understand how this technology might be pursued through alternative economic platforms (i.e. open source, member-owned, social corporation, peer to peer, and platform cooperatives); and phase iii of the project will involve public outreach in the form of a consumer survey and web-based profiles of the alternative economic platforms for cellular agriculture. without doing this research, these questions would remain unanswered, and the chance to facilitate an open and transparent dialogue on these critically important issues may be lost. our qualitative and quantitative research on this project will be performed by an interdisciplinary team and informed by a diverse set of experts on a faculty advisory council.
Effective start/end date6/15/196/14/24


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $519,964.00


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